History being linear, “What if….?” is an unanswerable question—but always a fascinating one. What if George Washington had failed in New York in the early days of the American revolution and the rebellion had been crushed? What if Lee had heeded Longstreet, won Gettysburg, and then taken Washington, thus ending the Civil War and achieving Confederate independence? What if Charles Lindbergh had been the Republican candidate in 1940 and had defeated FDR? What if Bush vs. Gore had been decided differently in 2000?
Václav Havel, who died this past Dec. 18, was one of the great contemporary exponents of freedom lived nobly. His moral mettle proved true in both the world of ideas and the world of affairs; indeed, few men of the past half-century have moved more surely between those two worlds. In that respect, and for his personal courage, Havel reminded me of one of the American Founders—if, that is, one could imagine James Madison hanging out with Frank Zappa.
The tenth anniversary of September 11th, 2001 falls on a Sunday and, providentially, the readings proposed for the Catholic liturgy that day have to do with forgiveness. This interesting confluence provides the occasion for reflecting on this complex and oft-misunderstood spiritual act. Let's bnegin bny remembering that terrible day.
Denver, Colo., Sep 9, 2011 / 02:21 am (CNA).- Pope John Paul II saw the September 11, 2001 terrorist atrocities as attacks not only on the United States, but on "all of humanity," recounts James R. Nicholson, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. "We must stop these people who kill in the name of God," the Pope told Nicholson two days after the attacks, the ambassador recalls in a column for Catholic News Agency.
Roland Bainton, who died in 1984, was a fixture at the Yale Divinity School for more than four decades and remained an influential Church historian over during two decades of retirement. His most popular book was Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther; but Luther scholarship has gone far beyond Bainton since Here I Stand was published in 1950. Bainton’s Christian Attitudes Toward War and Peace, however, which was first published in 1960, continues to exert a significant influence on Christian thought today. The question is whether that influence is helpful, or baleful.
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My frustration as the brigade chaplain – it’s my responsibility to see all denominations cared for. It’s more and more difficult to see how few Catholic priests, for example, are in the military. It’s very difficult to supply what the Soldiers need. We need Catholic priests...
--Maj. Lonnie Locke
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